The Blood Guard, by Carter Roy.
She ran straight at the police car.
The blade she carried gleamed blue, like it had stored up the light of a full moon. Every sweep of its point left a bright, burning arc in the air.
But that wasn't what made my jaw drop with wonder.
When my mom ran, she blurred. There was a moment when her legs were visible; then something shifted, and she was a smear of color streaking across the pavement, halving the distance between us and the police car in a single breath. No regular person moves that fast.
This novel is the first in a trilogy about the Blood Guard, a group of people who guard the Pure - thirty-six people who must survive if the world is to survive, too. I actually started reading this book a while ago, then put it down, and then returned to it, which I usually don't do, but I'm glad I did, because the second half was more interesting and action-packed than the first.
When thirteen-year-old Ronan Truelove's seemingly ordinary mom snatches him from school, then sets off on a high speed car chase, Ronan is shocked. His quiet, nerdy dad has been kidnapped? And the kidnappers are after him, too? His mom, he quickly learns, is anything but ordinary. In fact, she's a member of an ancient order of knights, the Blood Guard, a sword-wielding secret society sworn to protect the Pure—thirty-six noble souls whose safety is crucial if the world as we know it is to survive. Now all those after-school activities—gymnastics, judo, survival training—she made him take make sense. For suddenly Ronan is swept up in a sometimes funny, sometimes scary, but always thrilling adventure—dashing from one danger to the next, using his wits to escape the Bend Sinister, a posse of evil doers with strange powers.
Falling in with two unlikely companions, Greta, a scrappy, strong-willed girl he's never much liked and Jack, a devil-may-care teenage pickpocket, Ronan is left with only his wits and his mom's last words of advice: Trust no one. That's a lot for an ordinary kid to deal with. But then again, maybe Ronan's not ordinary at all.
This is supposed to be a "middle-grade contemporary" read (aka, for middle-schoolers and up) but I found that anyone can enjoy it, especially if you enjoy fantasy, sci-fi, or books like Harry Potter, that involve a bit of magic in them.
Ronon finds out randomly one day that his mom is a member of this Blood Guard, and he must set off on a trip when, at the beginning of the novel, he and his mother's safety is jeopardized. He meets up with Greta, an old classmate of his, as well as Dawkins, another member of the Guard, and they must work together to put a stop to the Bend Sinister, an evil group who wants to kill the Pure.
I'm a fan of the Harry Potter series and other fantasy/sci-fi, and I enjoyed this novel overall. The book is very cleanly-written (easy to get through) and the characters were interesting - by the end of the novel, you were invested in their fates and whether or not they lived another day, though I assumed they would since this is the first novel of three about Ronan and the Blood Guard.
3.5 stars out of 5.
I have two copies of this novel to give away to my lucky readers - one hard copy (U.S. only) and one e-copy (open to international). Enter via the Rafflecopter below. Contest will end on Tuesday, April 1st, at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be notified on April 2nd via email and have 24 hours to respond, or alternate winner(s) will be chosen.
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